Vanity Fair on the American Media

Vanity Fair, in a rare introspective piece on the many failings of the American media:

bq. Al Gore couldn’t believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes (“I invented the Internet”), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign–and about his future plans–to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage. “#”:

The article is long winded, so here is the short summary: Seven long years after the 2000 elections, parts of the American media are finally looking back at their coverage of the 2000 elections, and starting to realize that it was a bit biased towards the republican side.

By attacking Gore so viciously, often with made up quotes and stories, they helped to swing the elections away from him. _As Jonathan Alter points out, “Overall, the press was harder on Gore than it was on Bush…. The consequences of [that] in such a close election were terrifying.”_

Another key piece form the article:

bq. Eight years ago, in the bastions of the “liberal media” that were supposed to love Gore—The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNN—he was variously described as “repellent,” “delusional,” a vote-rigger, a man who “lies like a rug,” “Pinocchio.” Eric Pooley, who covered him for Time magazine, says, “He brought out the creative-writing student in so many reporters.… Everybody kind of let loose on the guy.”

It’s not just elections, but so many other issues where the supposedly liberal American media toes the Republican party line. Iraq is a shining example, and Bush is perhaps the biggest example of all – only when his popularity in the polls dropped closed to zero, did the media start criticizing him, probably out of fear that otherwise their pro-Bush propaganda would be too transparent otherwise.

Vanity Fair would just as well be writing about the American media coverage of the Iraq war, where former hawks (and current hacks) like “Fareed Zakaria”: are slinking of their pro-war soapbox[1] and saying that it might not have been such a good idea after all. There is a large segment of American media who follows the party line completely, and only when reality proves them utterly wrong, slowly backs off and even than only admits that reality didn’t follow their oh so carefully laid plans, and they were always right. Zakaria is just one of the many, used here as an example as he writes a editorial every week in the international Newsweek magazine, which used to try to convince the world that Bush is a hero, America is right, and if the world just listens, everything would be hunky dory, and of course, wherever you might think America got it wrong, it’s always reality at fault.

fn1. This is the same guy who declared _”Bringing down Saddam could end Islamic terror”_ and twisted facts and language every which way to justify invading Iraq.

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